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Live coverage: No. 5 Montana Grizzlies host Sacramento State

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Live coverage from Washington-Grizzly Stadium as the Grizzlies host Sacramento State Oct. 16, 2021.


Two years ago, the Grizzlies left Sacramento having suffered a 49-22 defeat to the Hornets in 2019 as quarterback Dalton Sneed suffered an injury. Just like that game two years ago, UM is again ranked No. 5 in the country heading into its showdown with Sacramento State. The Griz are 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Sky, while the Hornets are 3-2, 2-0.

Montana wins the coin toss and defers to the second half. Sacramento State will receive the opening kickoff

First quarter

Garrett Graves is making his fourth consecutive start at safety. Montana senior DE Joe Babros is starting after missing two-plus games with an injury sustained early in the Cal Poly game Sept. 25. He gets called for a face mask penalty on the second play of the game. Senior DE Justin Belknap is also back starting for Montana after coming off the bench last week. Junior CB Justin Ford also starting opposite Omar Hicks Onu. Ford has an INT in three consecutive games, the first Griz to do that since Trumaine Johnson in 2010.

Sac State QB Jake Dunniway hits Jared Gipson for what's called a 29-yard TD pass. Upon review, he'd ruled to have gone out of bounds inside the 1-yard line. On 3rd down, Jake Dunniway hits Chris Miller in triple coverage for a 3-yard TD.

SCORE: Sac State 7, Griz 0, 9:41 left 1Q.

UM redshirt freshman QB Kris Brown comes out for his second career start in place of injured senior Cam Humphrey, who did go through warmups today after getting injured two weeks ago. Montana picks up one 1st down on a 15-yard pass from Brown to Cole Grossman, but the Griz then punt after Brown is taken down under pressure on 3rd down. Brian Buschini, who's been a solid punter this year, sends his 1st of the game just 33 yards to the Sac State 20.

Montana safety Robby Hauck is called for pass interference on third down. On the next play, he's called for targeting, but there's no targeting foul upon review. It looked like Hauck could've intercepted the pass off Pierre Williams' hands if he had his head up. Sacramento State converts a third-and-10 with an 11-yard pass from Jake Dunniway to Marshel Martin. The Hornets then get called for two false starts and punt. Keelan White is back to return the punt, but it goes out of bounds at the 10.

Montana QB Kris Brown fakes out everyone with a fake handoff to Junior Bergen. He keeps the ball, bounces left for 22 yards and gets hit late, tacking on 15 more yards. He then hits Bergen out of the backfield, and Bergen makes some nifty spin moves for a 16-yard gain. will have a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line to open the second quarter after a 12-yard pass from Kris Brown to Sammy Akem on third-and-10 on the final player of the first quarter.

End first quarter: Sac State 7, Montana 0

Second quarter

Griz are put into 1st-and-goal from the 14-yard line after LG Hunter Mayginnes was called for a false start. Montana settles for a 23-yard FG. Kevin Macias splits the uprights to improve to 5 of 9 this year. 12 plays, 84 yards, 3:51

SCORE: Sac State 7, Griz 3, 13:48 left in 2Q

Montana safey Garrett Graves with a great one-on-one tackle against Pierre Williams to prevent a first down. Sac State goes for it on fourth down but is called for its fourth false start of the game. Hornets use a timeout to decide on fourth-and-7 from the UM 45. Sacramento State goes for it on fourth-and-7, and Montana junior CB Justin Ford intercepts a pass for the fourth consecutive game. Unreal. Griz take over at their own 19-yard line trailing 7-3 with 8:59 left in the second quarter.

Montana quickly goes three-and-out after forcing the turnover. Brian Buschini punts 51 yards to the Sac State 22-yard line. Sac State goes tempo on its fourth drive, and its first four plays all go for 11 or more yards. UM safety Gavin Robertson is back for the first time since Western Illinois game Sept. 11 and delivers a punishing hit on BJ Perkinson at the 2-yard line. Sac State QB Asher O'Hara keeps the ball and runs up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown. 10 plays, 78 yards in 2:51. Each of the Hornets' QBs has led a TD drive, with Jake Dunniway doing so on the game's opening drive.

SCORE: Sac State 14, Griz 3, 4:18 left in the second quarter.

Garrett Graves returns the kickoff 41 yards to the Montana 47-yard line. Best starting field position for the Griz through four drives. But they quickly go three-and-out, and the fans are booing. Montana freshman DE Henry Nuce, a Kalispell Glacier grad, forces a fumble on third down, but Sac State recovers. The Hornets punt, and Keelan White returns it 67 yards for a TD, but that's negated by a pair of penalties on the Griz.

Sac State CB Munchie Filer, a former Montana State player, breaks up a pass in the end zone with 5 seconds left. Kevin Macias makes a season-long 31-yard field goal. He's now 6 of 10 on the year.

SCORE: Sac State 14, Griz 6, 0:00 left in the first half.

End second quarter: Sac State 14, Montana 6

Third quarter

Montana QB Kris Brown fumbles on 2nd play of the 3rd quarter. The Griz are already down 14-6 as Sacramento State takes over nearly in the red zone at the 26-yard line. Forced by Josiah Erickson, recovered by Marcus Hawkins. Fourth fumble, third lost in 2 games for Brown. Sacramento State converts the Montana turnover into a 24-yard TD pass from Jake Dunniway to Jared Gipson just three plays later.

SCORE: Sac State 21, Griz 6, with 13:15 left in the third quarter.

Montana RB Junior Bergen with a great individual effort dodging tacklers for a 20-yard run. He's ruled out at 2-yard line, but it didn't look like he stepped out. Two plays later, Kris Brown rolls left for a 2-yard TD run. Bergen 2-point run.

SCORE: Sac State 21, Griz 14, 9:53 left in the third quarter.

Montana DE Justin Belknap called for a roughing the passer penalty as Jake Dunniway hits Pierre Williams for 17 yards. Sac State down to the Griz 18-yard line. DE Joe Babros is down for a minute but jogs off the field on his own. He missed past two games with an injury. One play after the penalty, Montana LB Patrick O'Connell forces a fumble of QB Asher O'Hara by hitting him from behind, and CB Omar Hicks Onu recovers the ball in the red zone at the 14-yard line.

Montana's offense goes three-and-out for the third time in eight drives today. Brian Buschini blasts a punt 62 yards to the 15-yard line to flip the field. Montana junior DT Eli Alford down on the field for a few moments. He begins to hobble off and then jogs the rest of the way to the sideline. Looked like his right leg. Montana LB Patrick O'Connell with the first sack of the day for the Griz, forcing a fumble on a third down. Sac State punts, Keelan White catches the ball, hesitates as to maybe fake a fair catch and he run it 31 yards to the 30-yard line.

Montana QB Kris Brown bounces left, TE Cole Grossman throws a nice block at the line of scrimmage to help Brown gain the edge , and Brown runs down the left sideline for a 23-yard TD run.

SCORE: Griz 21, Sac State 21, with 4:25 left in the third quarter.

Montana senior DE Justin Belknap is down on the field holding his right left. He gets it stretched out a bit and walks off the field on his own.

Sac State QB Jake Dunniway escapes pressure, throws on the run and hits a wide-open Jared Gipson for a 24-yard TD on a crossing route. 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:01.

SCORE: Sac State 28, Griz 21, with 1:24 left in the third quarter.

End third quarter: Sac State 28, Montana 21

Fourth quarter

Sacramento State's Marcus Fulcher muffs the punt, and Montana's Levi Janacaro recovers at the 16-yard line. One play later, Kris Brown gets picked off at the goal line by LB Marcus Hawkins. He was going to a wide-open Sammy Akem in the end zone and just underthrew it.

Montana DE DeAri Todd is down on the field but walks off on his own after a moment. Senior DEs Joe Babros and Justin Belknap, who both left earlier after going down, are back in. Montana forces a punt as CB Justin Ford breaks up a 3rd-down pass. Keelan White is tripped on the fair catch, a flag is thrown, but it's waived off because defender was said to be blocked into White. Griz take over at their own 16 trailing Sac State 28-21 w/ 10:10 left.

Sac State's Jett Stanley called for a hands to the face penalty, 15 yards and automatic first down. Montana QB Kris Brown then sacked by Stanley for a loss of 14 yards on the next play. Griz punt away the ball trailing 28-21 with 8:10 to play.

Sac State has a fourth-and-1 at the UM 30-yard line with 2:14 to play. Sac State goes for it, and QB Jake Dunniway is ruled short of the first down. Looked like he stretched for 1st down. Griz take over at their own 30 trailing 28-21 with 2:11 to play.

Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at


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